"I have to tell you," Jonathan Coulton's wife said to me on the last night of the cruise, "how wonderful your boys are."
"I have two daughters," Peter Sagal's wife told Anne, "and I hope this isn't weird or creepy, but I really hope they meet guys like your sons."
"Dude, you know you raised your kids right when they are awesome and not lame even when you're not around," my friend Kathleen said.
In each of these instances, I was as proud as I was relieved. When they were growing up, it was important to me that I protected Ryan and Nolan's privacy, and I kept them out of the public eye (visually, I mean) as much as I could. I knew that #JoCoCruiseCrazy would be the first time a lot of people would actually see them. I knew that most of those people would have cameras, and I knew that it was unrealistic and unreasonable to expect those cameras wouldn't ever be turned on my kids. Before we left, I had long talks with both of them about all of this, and I urged them to comport themselves in a way that would make them and us proud. They assured me that they understood in their own way: Ryan told me, "Yeah, I get it. Don't worry." Nolan rolled his eyes at me and said I was being "lame."
Anyway, I had a great time on the JoCo Cruise, but before I actually recall it in my own way, I needed to get this out of the way.
I've waited almost ten years to do this. Internet, please meet my family:
That's Anne, me, Ryan, and Nolan.
This is probably my favorite picture that's ever been taken of me and Ryan:
Please enjoy the bonus Kevin Murphy photobomb.
So with this important formality out of the way, I can now get down to the very important business of recounting some of the things I loved about the cruise. Until I get the thoughts out of my head and into words, though, I highly recommend reading Stepto's and Molly's blogs, as well as JoCo's Open Letter to the Seamonkeys.